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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A exploratory study into the correlations between the cultural composition of social support network and acculturative stress for international students
by Hwang, Tony, Ed.D., California State University, Fullerton, 2014, 155; 3581381
Abstract (Summary)

One of most significant challenges for international students studying in the U.S. is their ability to adjust to a new social setting. The maladjustment of international students in a host country has been associated with negative impacts to their psychosocial development, educational experience, and perception of the host culture. The increasing demand to recruit and enroll international students in colleges and universities across the U.S. prompts the need to further investigate the various factors that impact the cross-cultural and educational experiences of these sojourning scholars.

This correlational study was conducted using a 65-item online survey instrument. The population under investigation was international undergraduate students who have been studying in the U.S. for at least one academic year. The sample for this population was taken from three public higher education institutions in southern California. The total sample size of the study was 368 participants, One-way ANOVA and hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted to analyze the data and answer the research questions.

Overall, this study found that a relationship exists between the cultural composition of social support networks and the acculturative stress of international students. The results of the analysis indicate that international students who are more likely to seek support from members of their support network who are from a different culture experienced lower levels of acculturative stress. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the cultural composition of a social support network is positively correlated with feelings of homesickness.

The findings from this study can inform the practice of student affairs personnel responsible for working with international students. it can also inform institutional policies related to the strategic planning of increasing the enrollment of international students on a campus. This study contributes to the existing body of knowledge aimed at understanding the specific needs of international students by investigating the relationship between the cultural composition of social support networks and acculturative stress.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Currie, Ding-Jo
School: California State University, Fullerton
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School counseling, Higher education
Keywords: Acculturation, Acculturative Stress, International Students, Social Networks, Stress, Support Networks
Publication Number: 3581381
ISBN: 978-1-321-14069-9
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